Winter Wonderland at the North Forty
A winter wonderland at The North Forty Resort… its real here in Montana. Check out the short blurb below to give you a better picture of Glacier Nation Park in the midst of winter (it’s a short drive from us too)!
In addition to the pristine beauty of snow, we’re offering winter specials to help you to get away and enjoy the comforts of our log cabins and other amenities. Fireplace – check. Sauna – check. Hot tubs – check. See our website for the winter specials.
To save money at Glacier National Park, November through June: Let’s start with the good news. Winter visitors get the park at its quietest—forget dodging others on trails or getting stuck in lines of traffic. Another pro is that you’ll find the best deals on lodging outside the park. But make no mistake, amenities are limited during the winter. Only a few toilets are available, and running water can only be found at Apgar Visitor Center. This center is also the only visitor center open through winter, and just on weekends. Those willing to brave the chill can camp at Apgar and St. Mary’s campground.
One more winter perk: Seven-day passes to visit the park typically run $35 per vehicle, but in the winter they drop to $25.
Weather: The fact that most of the park is shuttered during the winter has probably clued you in that winter is very cold and very snowy at Glacier. Expect temperatures below freezing during the day and well below freezing at night. The park’s steep mountainsides are no stranger to avalanches, either, so if you’re planning to go beyond designated areas, make sure you’re familiar with the avalanche forecast and have the appropriate gear.
Activities: Roads are plowed from the west entrance to Lake McDonald and the east entrance to St. Mary’s campground, but the rest of the park has to be explored on foot. That’s not necessarily a bad thing. There is something special about wandering through a winter wonderland—the snow creates a hush, and there’s often just you and your breath.
Snowshoers of all levels (even beginners) have trails available. Rangers lead two-hour guided snowshoe tours from Apgar Visitor Center along McDonald Creek. (Check the park’s calendar.) Some local outfitters offer winter tours, too. Just make sure to dress super warmly and in layers.
If you’re an experienced skier or snowshoer, you can head off on your own. Going-to-the-Sun Road is a popular place to cross-country ski, as are McDonald Falls Trail, Avalanche Picnic Area Trail, McDonald Creek Trail, and Rocky Point Trail. Apgar Lookout, Fish Creek to Apgar, and Lake McDonald West Shore make relatively flat snowshoe trails. But there are even more trail options on the park’s winter maps, just stay aware of avalanche dangers.
Wildlife: It’s chilly and food sources are scarce in winter, so animals like bears, ground squirrels, and marmots spend the winter hibernating. But other creatures, even large ones, are still out and about. If you’re lucky, you may spot elk, red fox, white-tailed deer, or bald eagles that are still out and about in our winter wonderland!